It was a dark, brisk January morning in 2020, just weeks before the world would shut down. Trumpeter Adam Meckler had driven down to Chicago from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to meet up with old college friends; bassist Brian Courage and drummer Andrew Green. They were set to caravan to a gig in central Michigan. As is often asked of musicians, they were meant to work with a group of students during the day before performing for them in the evening. The band spent the day inspiring young musicians, teaching them about jazz and the blues. Before long, it was time for them to show the students what total commitment to music sounds like. Only they hadn’t yet decided what music they would play for their performance.
In the madness of the trip, and the trio’s general lack of proximity, they hadn’t even rehearsed. Exhausted from seeing the part of the morning jazz musicians don’t typically see, they quickly agreed on some tunes, and walked out on the stage to perform for a room packed with excited students. Too tired to feel the weight of the moment, the trio’s music flowed effortlessly. Call it the zone. Call it magic. Whatever it was, they were connected, playing from a place of love and trust. The specifics of the performance remain a blur. It was not recorded. One thing was certain: they had to do it again.
The onset of the pandemic in March of that year threw a wrench in their plans to recreate that magical feeling. They knew they would not achieve the same energy recording remotely. They needed real-time interaction and exploration. So they waited. As indoor performances increased in viability, the trio planned to meet in Chicago for a live recording session. Luke Polipnick, an accomplished guitarist and close friend of the band, offered to host the event at his unique loft space, formerly a corner store in the Bridgeport neighborhood, now dubbed the Union Ave. Sound Lab.
Joined by a group of fans and friends, with a make-shift bar and a few couches and chairs, they prepared for another launch. They performed a mix of Meckler’s original music, some arranged and deconstructed standards like “Solar” and “Beatrice” to a room full of inspired listeners, with the microphones set to “record”. Supercell’s Live Vol. 1 was etched in stone, and encapsulates the adventurous spirit of the trio, letting the music develop naturally, digging into a wide dynamic range, reaching a quiet vulnerability that one might not expect to hear from a chordless trumpet trio.